Korean pop culture continues to capture Filipinos’ hearts

MANILA — Many people, especially in the Philippines, are big fans of K-dramas and K-pop. Despite not understanding the lyrics, many can still sing along with K-pop songs and claim these are among their favorites.

Filipinos have apparently caught the Korean pop culture fever that it is now just common to see people.

In an exclusive interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) over the weekend, Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) Director Lee Jincheol said what is distinct about Korean culture is its candidness, which can be seen in K-dramas.

He emphasized that K-dramas do not just feature the region or tourist attractions.

“They (K-dramas) don’t exaggerate. They are not exclusive or patriotic,” he remarked.

Lee said K-dramas always deal with the everyday lives of ordinary people, so the viewers could relate.

With regards to K-pop, Lee said this is very hard to define, since “it is a collection of other cultures.”

What makes K-pop unique, as for Lee, is its non-exclusiveness, since it embraces other culture. “There is open-mindedness,” he said.

“(K-pop) songs reflect the agonies, the scar, the concerns of other people,” he pointed out. “(K-pop singers) need to be very brave to describe these (factors) and put these in their songs.”

Lee surmised this could be the reason many people could relate to K-pop.


Lee admitted that he’s a huge fan of BTS, (a.k.a. Bangtan Boys), a South Korean boy band. “I’m a fan, even if I’m their father’s age already,” he said. The director also candidly admitted that he sometimes does not understand the lyrics of K-pop songs, since these are usually fast.

Cultural exchanges

Meanwhile, Lee said that 2019 will be a mutual exchange year between the Philippines and Korea.

KCC is preparing for various cultural exchange activities. There will be workshops, performances, and a Korean actor will visit. Lee, however, said, he could not disclose the name of the actor yet.

“It’s very important to showcase both (the Filipino and Korean) cultures. We are very proud of our culture,” he said.

Every year, KCC holds the Philippines-Korea Cultural Festival in Manila, and conducts the Korean cultural caravan in selected schools that hold Korean classes and those that offer Korean language classes.

This caravan aims to inspire Filipinos, while also encouraging them to love their own.

Lee told the PNA he is considering bringing the Korean Culture Caravan also to government offices, such as the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Immigration, and others.

KCC, however, would need more manpower to extend the caravan to government offices, he said. (PNA)